Noel Polanco's Family Settles Wrongful Death Claim for $2.5 Million

By Katie Honan on February 12, 2014 9:24am | Updated on February 12, 2014 12:20pm

 Polanco had planned to go active in the Army before he was shot and killed last fall.
Polanco had planned to go active in the Army before he was shot and killed last fall.
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NEW YORK — The family of Noel Polanco, the National Guardsman who was shot and killed by an NYPD detective during a traffic stop in 2012, has settled their wrongful death lawsuit against the city, according to his lawyer.

Polanco's mother, Cecilia Reyes, filed the federal suit last July.

Her lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said the settlement of $2.5 million is fair "for damages for the wrongful death of a fine young soldier who should not have died the way he did.”

Polanco, who was 22 when he died and wanted to be a police officer, was pulled over on the Grand Central Parkway after 5 a.m. on Oct. 4, 2012 after police said he was driving erratically near 94th Street in East Elmhurst.

A detective with the Emergency Services Unit, Hassan Hamdy, fired one shot after he claimed he saw Polanco reach down to grab an object.

No weapon was found in the car, but police did find a yellow power drill.

A grand jury chose not to indict Hamdy, and Rubenstein said the settled civil suit gives Polanco's family "justice."

"Cecilia Reyes believes she did not get justice on the criminal side of our legal system, but this settlement demonstrates a measure of justic for the wrongful death of Noel Polanco," Rubenstein said.

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